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Timothy J. Trankina, President & Founder
Tim Trankina is the founder of Peachtree Settlement Funding and its President. In 1984, Mr. Trankina received a BA in Economics from Rutgers College and then attended law school at Georgia State University where he earned his JD in 1989. While completing his law degree, Mr. Trankina also received his Masters in Business Administration and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. Trankina has previous employment experience with IBM and Arthur Andersen & Co. Prior to founding Peachtree, he was employed by Price Waterhouse where he provided tax consulting and transactional structuring advice to major corporations and high net worth individuals. In addition, he has developed and instructed numerous internal continuing education programs related to federal and state tax reduction strategies.
Mr. Trankina has been a frequent national speaker at attorney and CPA conferences on tax and structured finance topics, including advanced sessions addressing tax minimization and wealth preservation.
James D. Terlizzi, Chief Executive Officer
Jim Terlizzi is an attorney who joined Peachtree in May 1998. He received his BA in Economics in 1986 from Rutgers College and received his JD from Rutgers University Law School in 1989.
Mr. Terlizzi’s previous employment experience includes partner of a law firm, Founder of JUA Funding Corporation, and as an Executive with Enhance Financial Services Group, Inc. (“Enhance”). While at Enhance, he created, developed, and managed the structured settlement division of Singer Asset Finance Company. He was instrumental in the negotiation and implementation of the industry’s first structured settlement securitization completed with the Industrial Bank of Japan.
Craig M. Lessner, Senior VP and General Counsel
Craig Lessner is an attorney who earned his JD in 1989 from Rutgers University Law School after receiving his BA in English and Business Administration at Rutgers College. He joined Peachtree in August 1998 as our General Counsel.
Mr. Lessner’s experience includes working as a public accountant at Arthur Andersen & Co. and as an internal auditor at First Fidelity Bank. After receiving his law degree, he joined Lowenstein, Sandler, Kohl, Fisher & Boylan and later, Bourne, Noll & Kenyon where he became a partner in 1997. His primary focus included corporate/securities transactional work and protection of creditor rights. Craig is a member of the Order of the Coif and serves as the legal chairman of a national trade association.
Stephen A. Kirkwood, Associate Counsel
Stephen Kirkwood is an attorney who earned his BS at Union College and his JD at Albany Law School after completing his final year of law school at Emory University. He joined Peachtree in 1999 as Associate Counsel.
Prior to joining Peachtree, Mr. Kirkwood focused on commercial and personal litigation, mergers, and acquisitions. He also worked in the sports management arena, providing legal counsel to a national management firm and assisting that firm in the counsel of its clients relating to endorsement contracts and the establishment of charitable foundations. He is a member of both the Georgia and New York State Bar Association.
He continues his interest in Moot Court programs through annual judging of Regional competitions for the Georgia High School Moot Court Competition sponsored by the Georgia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.
Steven M. Berkeley, Senior Tax Counsel
Mr. Berkeley is an attorney, who has earned a BA (Finance), with Honors, from Florida Atlantic University, a JD, cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law and a LL.M. (Tax) from New York University School of Law.
Mr. Berkeley began his career as an ERISA associate with the New York law firms Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Thereafter, Mr. Berkeley joined Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) as Associate Tax Counsel. Immediately prior to joining Peachtree, Mr. Berkeley was a Vice President with Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSX). Mr. Berkeley is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and Florida.